New York City - US stocks fell Friday, as investors gave more weight to Washington political gridlock than upbeat data on US consumer spending and wages.
About 45 minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 89.49 points (0.58 percent) at 15,238.81.
The broad-based S&P 500 dropped 8.39 (0.49 percent) to 1,690.28, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gave up 11.32 (0.30
percent) at 3,776.10.
A Wells Fargo investor note pointed to continued “political gridlock” in Washington over reaching a budget for the 2014 fiscal year that begins Tuesday.
Without a budget deal, the government faces a partial shutdown.
“Speaker (John) Boehner said the House will not accept a spending bill that is likely to emerge from the Senate today,” Wells Fargo said.
“Meanwhile, President (Barack) Obama stands firm that he will not negotiate the debt ceiling or sign any bill that defunds the health care law.”
Uncertainty over the nation's fiscal situation outweighed data that showed consumer spending rose 0.3 percent in August, above the 0.2 percent forecast.
Personal income increased 0.4 percent, the sharpest month-on-month growth since February and also better than expected.
Sport apparel giant Nike, which was added to the Dow Monday, jumped 5.4 percent after quarterly earnings of 86 cents per share came in 8 cents above forecasts.
The company reported strong sales in much of Europe.
Slumping department store chain JC Penney tumbled 8.1 percent to $9.58 after announcing it was selling 84 million shares, a day after saying it had enough capital for its restructuring plan.
Airline giant United sank 7.3 percent after projecting that its passenger revenue per available seat mile, a widely watched benchmark, would rise 2.5-3.5 percent in the coming quarter, below expectations.
The data suggests a possible “return to underperformance,” said Barclays.
Ailing Canadian smartphone maker BlackBerry edged 1.3 percent higher after reporting a second-quarter loss of $965 million following charges of about $1 billion, in line with prior company projections.
Chief executive Thorsten Heins acknowledged “uncertainty” about the company's changes to address market challenges, but said the company is financially strong with $2.6 billion in cash and no debt.
Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 2.62 percent from 2.64 percent, while the 30-year slipped to 3.68
percent from 3.69 percent. Prices and yields move inversely. - Sapa-AFP